Saturday, February 6, 2010

overheard at the gym: the value of pushups

(photo by Chris Wass, via Flickr)










When you work out in a university gym, you have the opportunity to overhear a lot of teenagers' conversations. Usually I tune them out as much as possible, but a traditional strength day involves resting between sets and, well, what else are you going to do? Besides, yesterday the gym was sparsely populated: just me, a couple of other solo lifters, and a group of three not-very-muscular college-aged men.

One of the college men was showing his buddies the spiderman pushup (one-legged, but the knee of the free leg is propped on that side's elbow). He wasn't expounding the benefits of spiderman pushups for increasing strength or balance. No, his big selling point was that spiderman pushups were good for impressing women, "because they just have no upper body strength."

Two things struck me as funny about this. First, I was right next to them doing dips w/ a 35 lb weight strapped around my waist. I know they saw me, because at one point we made eye contact. However, I suspect that I fall so far out of their picture of what women can or can't do that they didn't even know how to process the visual information.

Second, I had a mental picture of these guys doing pushups at a party, in front of a gaggle of (scantily clad) young women. Somehow I suspect that no matter what the women were saying, deep down they were thinking, "did they really think we would be impressed by this? like, oh. my. god. what a bunch of losers!"

be strong //

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